Monday, August 1, 2005

War of the Worlds (2005)

In a Nutshell: Worth seeing. Very tense, quite creepy, rather dark, extremely well acted, beautifully shot, stunning special effects. A great ride for the first 90-120 minutes, then falls flat in the last 10.

Quick Plot: A dead-beat dad and his two children try to escape from robotic interstellar invaders intent on exterminating humanity and converting Earth into a planet fit for alien colonization.

In Detail: Well, I liked this film better than DH, and except for the very end, I was rather wowed. So I'll talk about the good points first. But I want to start out by saying that if you are expecting a film like Independence Day (Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum), to which all of the reviews kept comparing this movie, you will be rather surprised. Other than some basic plot similarities, they are NOTHING alike, in tone or in scope. This is not an action/adventure/save the world film with a healthy dose of comedy. It is a very personal drama, haunting and sad. I was also genuinely creeped out, even for a couple of days after, which Spielberg said was one of his goals for the film. With me, at least, he succeeded (which, admittedly, isn't all that difficult). DH agreed with me that it was edge-of-your-seat tense for almost the entire length of the film. It's almost relentless, in an excellent way. Superb acting on the parts of everyone involved, particularly in Tim Robbins' basement (didn't even know he was in the movie until we saw him on screen). Other than one point of "I don't think so" (which falls under my "please follow the rules you have established for your film" annoyance), and the way too pat ending, I thought it was an excellent movie. Or I did when we left the theater. But the more I thought about it afterward, the less and less things made sense, the less and less things stuck to the rules established in the premise of the film, and the less and less I liked it. I now think it is a great ride, and as long as you don't think about it *at all* afterward, you'll be okay. Still worth seeing once, IMO, just for the fantastic acting and effects, but do either a discount theater or rent it.

Will I Buy It? Unlikely.